tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS June 13, 2017 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
pelley. >> pelley: daytime drama. >> to suggest they participated in any collusion is an appalling and detestable lie. >> pelley: the attorney general denies a trump russia connection but faeses tough questioning. >> you're impeding this investigation. >> i am not stonewalling. >> pelley: also tonight, the hunt is on for two inmates wanted for murdering two prison guards. >> i am begging to the korean people and government for my forgiveness. >> pelley: after being imprisoned by north korea, an american college student is coming home in a coma. >> look at me! you did it! >> pelley: you could say the n.b.a. champs have two m.v.p.s. >> it was really nice, but i
didn't know how we were going to make it. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: today, the nation's top law enforcement officer, attorney general jeff sessions, refuted what he called "appalling and detestable" lies. sessions asked for today's hearing before the senate intelligence committee's investigation of russian tampering in the presidential election. this was the administration's first sworn rebuttal of former f.b.i. director james comey, who testified last week that the president pressured him to drop the investigation of former national security adviser michael flynn. president trump called comey a coward and a nut job. today, the attorney general was more measured, even though he declined to answer some of the most revealing questions. we have a team of correspondents covering, beginning with nancy cordes on capitol hill. >> i mean, what is this?
>> reporter: under oath, the attorney general said he is being smeared by suggestions that he had an undisclosed meeting with the russian ambassador last year. >> mr. comey said that there were matters with respect to the recusal that were problematic, and he couldn't talk about them. what are they? >> why don't you tell me. there are none, senator wyden. there are none. i can tell you that for absolute certainty. >> we can-- >> you tell-- this is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and i don't appreciate it. >> reporter: sessions has acknowledged what he says were two brief, routine meetings with sergey kislyak, but said he does not recall a reported third encounter at d.c.'s mayflower hotel after a trump campaign speech. >> certainly i can assure you nothing improper, if i had had a conversation with him, and it's conceivable that that occurred. i just don't remember it. >> reporter: his former senate colleagues asked sessions about an oval office meeting in
february. comey told the committee last week, that the president dismissed everyone but him. florida senator marco rubio: >> do you remember feel like you needed to stay? >> i do recall being one of the last ones to leave. he expressed concern to me about that private conversation, and i agreed with him, essentially, that there are rules on private conversations with the president. >> reporter: several senators pressed sessions to explain why he got involved in comey's firing, even after he had recused himself from the f.b.i.'s investigation into russian election meddling. >> it is absurd, frankly, to suggest that a recusal from a single specific investigation would render the attorney general unable to manage the leadership of the various department of justice law enforcement components. >> reporter: the firing could spark an obstruction of justice investigation because the president has said the russia
case was a factor. >> and i guess i'll just have to let his words speak for himself. >> reporter: answers like that frustrated democrats, who accused sessions of stonewalling about his conversations with mr. trump. >> has the president invoked executive privilege in the case of your testimony here today? >> he has not. >> then what is the basis of your refusal to answer these questions? >> senator king, the president has a constitutional-- >> i understand that. but the president hasn't asserted it. >> i am protecting the right of the president to exert it if he chooses. >> reporter: sessions said he recommended comey's firing because of his handling of the clinton e-mail case last year. still, one top democrat said tonight, scott, that perhaps sessions and other top officials should be held in contempt of congress if they won't answer these questions about the president. >> pelley: nancy cordes in the hearing room for us. well, after comey was fired, the justice department named former f.b.i. director robert mueller
as special counsel to independently investigate the russia case. well, today, margaret brennan tells us a number of top officials had to come to mueller's defense. >> i have a lot of confidence in bob mueller. i think it was a good choice. >> i think best advice would be to let robert mueller do his job. >> reporter: republican leaders mitch mcconnell and paul ryan expressed support today for robert mueller, the special counsel investigating russian election meddling and allegations of trump campaign collusion. it was prompted by this comment from trump confidant and newsmax c.e.o. chris ruddy yesterday on pbs. >> well, i think he's considering perhaps terminating the special counsel. i think he's-- he's weighing weg that option. >> reporter: on "cbs this morning" former house speaker newt gingrich, who had initially said he was a fan of mueller, accused him of picking politically biased investigators. >> his first four attorneys are all democrats. one of them worked for the clinton foundation. he, apparently, couldn't find a
single pro-trump attorney to hire and i just think that's a rigged game. >> reporter: mueller, a former f.b.i. director, will also explore whether the abrupt firing of james comey in may was an attempt by the president to obstruct the f.b.i.'s russia inquiry. in order to dismiss mueller, the president would have to get concept from deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. >> you have seen any evidence of good cause for firing of special counsel mueller? >> no, i have not. >> reporter: president trump ignored questions about mueller's fate. >> thank you. >.thank you very much. >> reporter: attorney general jeff sessions, who has recused himself from the russia investigation, did little to clarify the president's thinking. >> do you believe the president has confidence in director mueller? >> i have no idea. >> reporter: but he didn't join the attacks on mueller. >> you would not take any actions to try to have special investigator mueller removed giwouldn't think that would be appropriate for me to do. >> reporter: in fact, the white house says that president trump interviewed mueller for the f.b.i. director job just the
day before the justice department announced that he'd serve as an impartial special counsel. scott, confidants of the president say this presents yet another conflict for mueller. >> pelley: margaret brennan, thanks. now for some insight into this let's bring in dirk our chief washington correspondent exprveg anchor of "face the nation." john what are the important takeaways of the testimony today? >> i think you have to think of it in therms of three different investigation. in terms of the mueller special counsel investigation, actually, attorney general sessions said that was a worthwhile, useful investigation to the extent that it looked at russia meddling in the election. that's something the president has not been full throated about. the second is this question of collusion, russians plus the trump campaign. that was where this series of questions where the attorney general got quite heated about his meetings with russians. that's where he was most fort right and forceful in defending himself. then the third ye is this question of obstruction. did the president fire james comey because he wanted him to stop the investigation?
and on that, the attorney general basically didn't say very much. he was opaque, asserting not executive privilege but something short of it, but basically not answering the question. >> pelley: now, we saw in nancy's piece, the attorney general declining to answer many questions. where does that go from here? >> well, he's asserting a privilege the president has not asserted. he's saying the president might some day assert exclusive privilege. well, what would happen next is congress would have to hold him in contempt, but there are republicans running congress. they're unlikely to do that. but were they to hold mim hymn in content, the president would have to exert executive privilege and the courts would have to work it out. but for right now, he's not talking much, and there are other official officials who ars well. >> pelley: so far to go. john dickerson, we'll be watching sunday on "face the nation." thanks. now, jeff pegues brings us up to date on the russia investigation. >> i know nothing but what i've read in the paper. >> reporter: attorney general jeff sessionjeff sessions said t he's still not been shown the evidence of russian meddling in
last year's election. >> i never received any detailed briefing on how a hacking occurred or how information was alleged to have influenced. >> reporter: the intelligence community, including the f.b.i., concluded late last year, that the russian government's cyber taerngz designed to help the trump campaign. now, cbs news has learned those efforts were even greater than previously reported. during the final weeks of the campaign, former u.s. officials say hackers tried to gain access to voter databases in more than two disindisn states. >> this is the first time we're aware that anyone has ever successfully gotten in. >> reporter: in illinois, the hackers were successful. ken menzel is general counsel of the illinois board of elections. his stateinoid the intrusions last summer. >> we're highly confident that no records were deleted or altered or add. >> reporter: but former u.s. officials now say they can't be sure that voter registration data in some states wasn't
taken. one source says up to six key battles ground states, including florida and wisconsin, were at risk. before information realized it was a real problem, the source says, it was a real problem. last week, fired f.b.i. director james comey warned that the cyber assault could happen again. >> oh, it's a long-term practice of theirs. it stepped up a notch in a significant way in '1616. they'll be back. >> reporter: u.s. officials still say that they do not believe the hacks impacted the outcome of the election. scott, even though he said he hadn't been briefed, sessions did say the u.s. does not have a sufficient strat scwe strategy h cyberattacks. >> pelley: jeff pegues, our man on the investigation from the beginning. thank you. the jury in bill cosby's sexual assault trial dlibded for a second today. today they reviewed testimony that the entertainer gave more than a decade ago in which he admitted giving women drugs.
cosby is charged with disprug molesting andrea constand. he claims it was consensual. cosby, who is 79, could face 10 years if found guilty. in georgia today, two prison guards were murdered on a prison bus. two inmates are on the run, and mark strassmann has the story. >> reporter: about 70 miles east of atlanta, a pair of inmates riding on this prisoner transport bus somehow seized the guards' 40-caliber glock pistols and murder them. killed were 42-year-old sergeant christopher monica, and 58-year-old curtis billue. howard sills, the shaken sheriff of putnam county, called the inmates beyond dangerous. >> they need to surrender before we find them. i saw two bluteally murdered corrections officers. that's what i saw. i have their blood on my shoes. >> reporter: what is your biggest worry at this point? >> my biggest worry is they're going to kill somebody else. that's my biggest worry.
>> reporter: the escapees are 24-year-old ricky dubose and 43-year-old donnie russell rowe. both were serving time for violent felonys. they later carjacked a green honda civic and disappeared. that prison transport bus resembles a school bus but with caged windows and a caged door that separates the inmates from the driver. the inmates somehow managed to get through. georgia correction commissioner greg dozier: if sthe gate typically locked? >> yes, that gate is typically locked. >> reporter: so it should have been locked? >> yes, sir. >> reporter: and at some point they managed to get through the gate and overpower the guards. >> that's what it appears. >> reporter: the murders were also recorded by an onboard camera. the two escape ease later broke into a house, stole clothes, left behind their prison whites and hit the road again. scott, domestics are worried that these two prisoners, dangerous and desperate, may try to go out in a blaifs glower.
>> pelley: mark strassmann, thanks. coming up next on the cbs evening news, dennis rodman denn arrives in north korea as an american imprisoned there flies home in a coma. and later, ejected from the driver's seat at uber. but when we brought our daughter home, that was it. now i have nicoderm cq. the nicoderm cq patch with unique extended release technology helps prevent your urge to smoke all day. it's the best thing that ever happened to me. every great why needs a great how.
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>> i never should have allowed myself to be lured by the united states administration. to commit a crime in this country. >> reporter: the university of virginia student was sentenced to 17 faen years' hard labor for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster of late korean leader kim jong-il. north korea called it a hostile act against the state. after his trial, warm byer allegedly fell ill and has been in a coma ever since. >> the department of state has secured the release of otto warmbier from north korea. >> reporter: secretary of state rex tillerson credited president trump with securing the student's release, but it happened bizarrely the same day former n.b.a. star dennis rodman landed in north korea. he has now traveled there five times and says he considers
north korean leader kim jong-un a friend for life. ♪ happy birthday to you >> reporter: in 2014, rodman even sang happy birthday to him. en route today, rodman said he was returning to try to "open a door," and that president trump would be happy about it. now the trump administration says dennis rodman had nothing to do with warmbier's release but read of dennis rodman and president trump are friend from their days on the "celebrity apprentice." no wordon the three other americans still being held by north korea. >> pelley: coming up, steering ububer away from controversy. we come into this world needing others. ♪ then we are told it's braver to go it alone.
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the board of directors is blaming him for a toxic corporate culture. here's john blackstone. >> reporter: embattled uber c.e.o. travis kalanick announced to his employees he is taking a leave of absence and wrote: uber has grown to challenge the taxi industry in more than 500 cities around the world but in the past year the company has faced crisis after crisis, including accusations of stealing self-driving technology from google and protests by drivers. in a widely seen video earlier this year, kalanick argued with an angry uber driver. kalanick described his impatience to charlie rose last year. >> we are generally a little bit forward leaning when it comes to trying to make progress happen.
>> reporter: under kalanick uber described its corporate valleys with headings like always be huft lig, and principled confrontation. the report by former tank eric holder recommends adopting values that are more inclusive, emphasizing team work and mutual respect. crisis communication expert jeremy robinson-leon says kalanick's exit and hold der's report are just the beginning of the changes uber is likely to need. >> the overall narrative has shifted so far out of uber's favor, that without big, corrective action it's going to be impossible for uber to achieve a true reset. >> reporter: when travis kalanick returns to uber headquarters here, his role will be somewhat diminished. the recommendations released today, scott, call for a chief operating officer to take over many of kalanick's responsibilities. >> pelley: john blackstone in san francisco. thanks. last night, three americans killed in afghanistan were flown home to dover air force base in
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it really was. >> reporter: last night was about more than winning. for the warriors aerps kevin durant it was the fulfillment of a promise he made to his mom when he was just eight years old. >> i can remember that conversation. >> reporter: is that why you kept pushing him so hard? >> because i knew he wanted it. >> reporter: wanda durant had kevin at just 21. as a young single mom, she worked the overnight shift at a post office outside washington, d.c., struggling to provide for him and his older brother, tony. >> there were many nights that i didn't know how we were going to make it. >> reporter: where did you fiend that strength, though? because they had you. you didn't have anybody. >> i couldn't quit. and there were times i wanted to quit, and i often said the sacrifice for me, really for me personally, was not dying. that's what i sacrificed for my kids, not-- not-- not checking out on them. >> reporter: so how did you bring yourself back from that? >> because i had them.
>> reporter: they were everything, yeah? >> they needed me. >> reporter: there aren't usually words for that kind of sack fireworks but durant found just the right ones when he gave his mom a tearful shoutout at the acceptance speech for the n.b.a.'s most valuable player award three years ago. >> when you didn't eat, you made sure we ate. you went to sleep hungry. you sacrificed for us. you're the real m.v.p. ( applause ) >> reporter: even for an n.b.a. champion, being a momma's boy couldn't feel any better. how do you top last night? >> win another championship. ( laughter ) >> reporter: lee cowan, cbs news, oakland. >> pelley: and that's the cbs evening news for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs
. tonight, the bachelor franchise in crisis. >> going to paradise, you don't know what's going to happen. >> new details about the sex scandal that shut down paradise. could this mean the end of the show forever? >> then -- ♪ god bless you on your day >> a new twist in the feud that nobody saw coming. joonl and which singers crashed on jamie fox's couch before becoming famous? >> you're simt, not single? what's going on. >> why are we having this conversation? >> i need to know. >>